On January 6, the faithful gather in churches on the Divine Liturgies, which is the equivalent of a holy mass according to the Liturgy of Saint. Basil the Great. Later, together with the priests in a solemn procession, they go to the sea or other available water reservoir. In small villages away from the sea and other open water reservoirs, in the temples simply put dishes with water. The culmination of the celebration of this holiday is the dedication of water. The priest after reading the prayer from the liturgical book, three times submerges a wooden cross in the water.
The image comes from the site www.candiadoc.gr, where you can also see other photographs
made in Heraklion during today's festival.
Today's festivals are Epiphany in Chania, Crete
In Greece, if the celebrations take place over an open water reservoir (sea, river, lake), the ceremony is more spectacular. The priest thrusts the cross into the water three times (though, as we have noticed). He is tied to the sash, so after the first and second throw he is pulled out by the priest. Only the third time, as a sign of the ritual purification of the soul, willing men who want to pick out a crucifix jump into the water. Although the beginning of January does not make anyone want to swim in the sea, on this day there will always be a group of daredevils who will happily jump into the water. The one who will first cross will be able to enjoy happiness and blessing throughout the coming year. The other swimmers generally kiss the fished crucifix one by one. The celebrations end with the release of white pigeons from the sacred water. Depending on the region of Greece, the main ceremonies are enriched by additional local rites, for example, throwing oranges into the water, washing in water dedicated icons, agricultural tools.
On this day the post is no longer valid, so meat dishes appear on the tables.
In Crete, an old, rather forgotten, culinary custom was to prepare a dish called fotokoliva ( Φωτοκόλυβα ). This dish was prepared on the eve of Epiphany. This is a type of soup from various legumes. She was eaten the other day by feeding her animals as well. This was to ensure good health and assets in homes. Chickpeas, wheat, lentils, fava beans and ordinary beans were used to cook Φωτοκόλυβα. It was served with lemon and Cretan oil, garnished with fresh onions and dill.